Hyperglycemia Tips

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What are the causes of high blood sugars (hyperglycemia)?

Causes of Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugars, can be a serious complication of diabetes. It can have many causes, including, but not limited to:

1) eating too much or too many simple
carbohydrates, i.e. doughnuts, candy
2) lack of exercise
3) illness
4) stress
5) not taking medication properly
6) medication side effect, such as
prednisone or antibiotics
7) expired medication - efficacy tends
to decrease after the expiration date
8) dehydration

It is not unusual to have periodic elevations in your blood sugar with any of the above events, however repeated or ongoing elevations increase your risk for serious complications, including kidney and heart disease, vision loss, infections and nerve damage.

A few ways to control hyperglycemia episodes, include:

1) watch your diet: follow the 50%, 30%
20% guidelines for carbs, fats and
2) stay hydrated - drink plenty of
water and avoid caffeine and alcohol
3) take your medications as prescribed
4) notify you doctor if your are ill

Since a common goal is to keep morning blood sugars between 80 and 120 mg/dl, with many providers happy with values under 150 mg/dl in the morning, notify your healthcare provider if you have more than 3 morning values over 200 mg/dl, within 1 week.

Exercising, eating right, staying hydrated, following your medication regime, and keeping your doctor "in the loop," will go a long way to helping you stay healthy and decrease the risk for complications related to high blood sugars.

How can I prevent hyperglycemia?

Treatment of Hyperglycemia

High blood sugars - hyperglycemia - increases your risk for developing complications including kidney and heart disease, vision loss, infections and nerve damage.

Prevention of high blood sugars is an important part of diabetes self care, and there are things you can do to help manage your blood sugars:

1) regularly monitor your blood glucose
2) regular visits with your health care
team cannot be overemphasized in
maintaining good health
3) keeping hydrated - avoid alcohol and
caffeine, as they can be dehydrating
4) taking your medication as prescribed
5) following the 50%-30%-20% rule for
your carbs, fats and proteins
6) exercise - get your 20 minutes of
aerobic exercise, three times a week

As with any chronic medical condition, taking responsibility for your disease is the first step on managing it. Talk with your healthcare provider about how to "take control" of your diabetes, to decrease your risks of developing complications related to hyperglycemia.

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Barbara Gibson